The Block producers deny ‘WASPy’ casting

Producers of The Block have denied their show has been cast with WASPs and says there weren’t enough applicants from other ethnic backgrounds.

Executive producer Julian Cress told the Herald Sun, “For this series, we had just over 1000 applications. Of that 1000, a little under 4 per cent of those were other than caucasian.

“I wish more people would apply to be on the show that were racially diverse. I would love that,” he said.

But last night Scott Cam told the final 4 there were 3000 applicants.

Someone is telling porky pies.

Readers of TV Tonight have also commented on the lack of diversity amongst the show’s cast, which follows from similar casting mixes from Nine shows including homeMADE and Australia’s Perfect Couple. However The Apprentice Australia managed a more diverse mix in 2009.

The Block was one of the first TV shows in the world to cast a gay couple,”Cress said. “In series two we had Italian and Lebanese contestants and last year the show was won by a Greek woman.”

The show’s inclusion of Gav and Waz was indeed ground-breaking. A loving gay couple in a 6:30pm timeslot had never been done before. But the show also had many pin-up couples in its early seasons, reflecting its aspirational and young home-owners tone.

Much has changed since 2003. Reality TV, even more than Drama, represents the melting pot of Australia (for contrast read this article by Mos from The Amazing Race Australia).

It’s time The Block caught up.

37 Comments:

  1. I think one thing that all of you who are complaining about the lack of ethnic diversity are forgeting is that we are in Australia so why are we constantly complaining when a reality show on television has Australians on it. Love it ir hate it Australia is a very multicultural country and yes many thousands are are also Australian as they where born and bred here and this has brought a wonderful mix of lifestyles and cultures. The thing that annoys me is that we want to critisize when something shows white aglo saxons we should be proud of that.

  2. channel 9 has never been a true network, because they fail to understand there is life outside of sydney and even melbourne. it is laughable that nein is relying on one yawn of a show to help them limp over the line. total Fail.

  3. To add to my previous post, I was simply pointing out the way in which the term “ethnic” is misused and misunderstood, particularly in Australia. Ethnic does not mean the opposite of indigenous, nor does it mean foreign. Everyone is a member of an ethnic group. Prior to European invasion Australia was home to hundreds of indigenous ethnic groups. An ethnic group is, according to Wikipedia, a group of people whose members identify with each other, through a common heritage, often consisting of a common language, [and] a common culture (often including a shared religion)”. That’s why claiming that one ethnic group (Italians) are somehow not real “ethnics” doesn’t make sense.

  4. Around 90 percent of Australians are “white”. According to the CIA World Factbook its 92 percent. So there’s nothing strange about the fact that these 8 couples all appear to be of European ancestry. Nine are probably telling the truth in claiming that 96 percent of applicants were Caucasian. I would hazard an uninformed guess that a show like Block would probably have a disproportionately white audience.

  5. Anyone consider that the non anglo saxons who applied weren’t good enough.
    Its not the amazing race were they cast personalities or cooking were it lends itself to a ethnic melting pot. Looks like they’ve cast an Asian for Top Design….

  6. Some of them could easily be Celtic Catholics, the WASP tag is completely wrong. This would make them WCC. Nothing wrong with WASP anyway. Are we operating diversity quotas now?

  7. Nine just don’t understand that Australia is more than the North Shore of Sydney or Eastern Suburbs of Melbourne and Sydney, where most of the executives lives. I’m a WASP but in my extended family I have a Greek brother-in-law, Italian sister-in-law and son-in-law, one daughter-in-law who is half-Lebanese & half-Chilean. My niece has adopted two boys from Thailand, one is half German. My nephew is married to a half-Polish, half-Russian girl who was raised in Germany. My cousin is married to an Indian South African and his eldest daughter has just married a boy whose parents are from the Phillipines. My grandkids have a rich heritage from a number of cultures. I do have plenty of WASPy relatives but I also have friends and neighbours who are Greek, Portugese, Spanish, Italian, Lebanese, Chinese and Cypriot. That’s Australia today.

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